By JOHN SAKALA
Solwezi Municipal Council in collaboration with Zambia Police have apprehended three people for illegal developments and activities at the Kimasala Cemetery.
Those arrested are Anold Chingwa for building a house and block moulding while Moses Sakunda and Mwebela Kabembela were arrested for block moulding within the Old graveyard.
Solwezi Municipal Council Assistant Public Relations Manager Esther Chirwa has confirmed the arrest of the trio.
Ms Chirwa said the suspects are remanded in custody awaiting trial.
“The Penal Code Act Chapter 87 in Section 130 states that every person who, with the knowledge that the feelings of any person are likely to be wounded, commits any trespass in any place set apart for the performance of funeral rites or as a depository for the remains of the dead is guilty of a misdemeanour.
“Additionally, Section 71 of the Urban and Regional Planning Act No. 3 of 2015 stipulates that a person commits an offence if that person, without lawful authority, uses or occupies any piece or parcel of land or building OR erects any building or structure in any area without the prior approval of the planning authority within whose jurisdiction the land is situated. Further, it outlines that a person convicted of an offence under this Act is liable to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand penalty units (K60, 000.00) or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or to both,” she said.
Ms Chirwa said recently, Solwezi Town Clerk Bornwell Luanga had undertaken a site visit of the Kimasala graveyard which was closed in 2015 where it was discovered that part of the graveyard had been turned into a block making arena and “residential” area.
She said some structures were at slab level whereas three structures were occupied out of which two were connected to the ZESCO power line.
“It was also discovered that the said developers were not in possession of any Council documents to back their activities. It is saddening and unfortunate that some people have continued disrespecting the dead by undertaking illegal activities at the Old Graveyard regardless of all efforts by the Council to discourage such acts,” she said.